Have you ever wondered if you can tie-dye your knits or perhaps how to tie-dye your knitwear? Well you absolutely can and it’s really easy to do. Tie-dying a knitted sweater (or any other item of knitted clothing) is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make a simple knit into something fun and unique. Here’s my guide and top tips for tie-dying your knits.
You will need:
- A knitted item of clothing. The knit will need to be made from a natural material such as wool (superwash wool can be tie-dyed), cotton or bamboo. My photographed sweater is made from Chester Wool Company Ultra DK. The pattern from my sweater is my Casper Sweater without any of the halloween decorations.
- Tie-dye kit. I used the Kumber tie-dye kit from Amazon. Many kits come with items below so check before you buy more than you need.
- Elastic bands
- Plastic gloves
- Plastic bag
- Protective material for any work surfaces you are using such as plastic bags or sheeting
How to tie-dye your knitwear instructions
- Start by preparing your work area. You will want to have all the items to hand and make sure that surfaces are protected from getting any dye on them. I used a plastic bag.
- Make your knit damp. Many tie-dye kits will say that you don’t need to pre soak your clothing but with wool I found it’s best to. This will allow the dye to saturate the fabric easier. You don’t want your knit to be dripping wet.
- Tie up your knit with the elastic bands. The way you scrunch and secure your knit will impact the outcome of your dying. I wanted a random dye pattern across the sweater so I scrunched my knit up and secured tightly with the elastic bands. But you could create a spiral pattern, the traditional bullseye or sunburst patterns and even stripes. There are lots of tutorials on ways to fold and secure your clothing for tie dying like this video.
- Add water to the dyes following the kit’s instructions.
- Apply the dye!
- Once you’ve finished applying the dye to your knit, pop it in a plastic bag and leave for around 6-8 hours. Leaving the dye to soak in will give you nice vibrant colours.
- Take your knit out of the bag and remove all the elastic bands to reveal your finished tie-dye pattern.
- Rinse out the excess dye in cool water.
- Wash your project as per the washing instructions for your yarn. This could mean a handwash soak for any wool items.
- Block your project and let it dry.
Remember what makes tie-dying so much fun is just how unpredictable the end result is! I hope you have fun experimenting with tie-dying your knitwear.